Dissention in the Ranks!
Loyal members of the Niagara County GOP seem to be quite disgruntled with the Maziarz “pay to play” and patronage scheme of leadership. In fact, the Niagara Post is in receipt of numerous emails from concerned members of the Grand Ole Party. Most have expressed their sincere appreciation that the Post has dedicated itself to expose corrupt politicians, but have asked to remain anonymous with their tips. However, we would like to mention our appreciation for those willing to openly object to the Republican machine as it currently stands.
Below please find two letters from a Niagara County Committeeman Paul Black:
Paul R. Black
August 4, 2012
TITLE: The Fox and the Hen House; and your Committeeman
If a fox were found to be guarding your hen house, would you believe him if he informed you that he’s there to protect the chickens? And further, would you (later) believe him if he told you, he doesn’t know what happened to your missing chickens?
I think not—you’d be (rightfully) “mad as hell” and determined to upset his game.
So it is that “We the People” need to upset the game being played on our franchise. Think you’re voting for your party’s best and brightest—think again. In all likelihood, you’re voting for a party servant—not a public servant. Like the fox guarding the hen house, it’s all a pretense; party politics controls party Committeemen which controls party endorsement—which in turn controls voter choices (or not), at the ballot.
Behind every run for elective office lies the unseen hand of endorsement by (party) Committeemen—and a candidate’s “want of endorsement”.
In simplest terms: A Committeeman’s job is: 1) To know the will of his constituents within his election district. 2) To represent that will, when vetting candidates for political offices. 3) To fight for an “open and honest” vetting process, for all candidates. And 4) at the close of vetting, to grant those that survive a (Full) Committee interview and vote the prize of “endorsement”.
Control Committeemen, and you control political theatre.
Presently, control is “strong arm” top down. As a party’s County Executive Committee goes, so goes the (closed-mouth) majority of Committeemen who risk loss, should they “step out of line”; it’s a game best called “conflict of interest”. Consider: Committeemen 1) hold elected office, 2) work for government, 3) do business with government, 4) owe favors, or 5) have family and/or friends in one of these circumstances. And, this is by design; a Committeeman who is his own person is a rare find.
In light of this (suspect) setup, all party “endorsements” are suspect—at best.
So, where has this “strong arm” brought us? 1) A less than stellar (endorsed) incumbency and 2) an entrenched (endorsed) party elite that would rather fight for failure than switch. Consider a sad truth: Elections are little more than a “team sport”, in which one party attempts to outplay the other party; not for the benefit of community and country—but for the benefit of a privileged few.
And, nothing seems to change.
None of this is lost on most voters. However, what is lost is the link between your Committeeman and your choices at the ballot; and further, how by unseating the “conflict of interest-ers” (the foxes, if you will) you can restore your rightful influence in your party and your franchise.
As you prepare to vote on September 13th, consider upsetting the game being played at your expense, by the “conflict of interest-ers”, by electing the following reform-minded candidates:
City of Lockport, by ward/district: Timothy Glaser 1-1; Richard Hickman 1-3; Theodore Saraf 2-1; Glen Miller 2-1; Lawrence Bentley 2-3; Dave Mongielo 2-4; Douglas Chapman 3-1; Diane Phelps 3-1; Richard Clark 3-2; Donald Enzinna 3-3; Andrew Chapman 4-1; Jean Kiene 4-1; Kristy Miller 4-2; Keith Stebbins 4-4; Phyllis Green 5-1; David Scranton 5-2; Thomas Blythe 5-3; Salvatore Angelo 5-4.
Town of Lockport, by district: Paul Black 12; Amy Fricano 13; Katherine Fricano 13.
See you at the polls.
-Paul R. Black
August 25, 2012
Board of Elections; Niagara County, NY
111 Main St #100
Lockport, NY 14094
Commissioner Mary Ann Casamento:
Commissioner Nancy L. Smith:
In researching the leaving of Theodore E. Saraf (petition 000264 of 7/12/12) off the Republican Committeeman Primary ballot of 9/13/12, I believe the Board of Elections has failed to follow its written procedures in this action; and thus, has adversely influenced the Committeeman ballot in ward 2 district 1 of the City of Lockport..
1) Per § 6215.7, why wasn’t Saraf notified by the BOE so that, if possible, he could cure his designating petition?
§ 6-134: 2….When a determination is made that a designating petition does not comply with such regulations [on the face of it], the candidate shall have three  business days from the date of such determination to cure the violation.
2) Why wasn’t I, as a member of Saraf’s “committee to fill vacancies”, notified of the declination/disqualification of his designating petition?
It’s clear that Saraf’s “committee to fill vacancies”, as listed on his designating petition, is entitled to make a “substitution” of candidate, upon declination.
§ 6–148: 1. A vacancy in a designation or nomination caused by declination, where a declination is permitted by this article, or by the death or disqualification of the candidate, or by a tie vote at a primary, may be filled by the making and filing of a certificate, setting forth the fact and cause of the vacancy, the title of the office, the name of the original candidate, if any, and the name and address of the candidate newly designated or nominated.
§ 6–148: 2. A vacancy in a designation or independent nomination, or in a party nomination made otherwise than at a primary, may be filled by a majority of the committee to fill vacancies shown upon the face of the petition or certificate of the designation or nomination in which the vacancy occurs.
If you won’t permit Saraf to cure his designating petition for Republican Committeeman, then, at the very least, permit his “committee to fill vacancies” fill the vacancy left by his declination.
I await your swift notification that Saraf’s “committee to fill vacancies” should immediately fill his vacancy: Ronald C. Hohle, Jerry K Chapman, Paul R. Black, Dave J. Mongielo.
Paul R. Black